Benefits and Limitations of Medications for Treatment of Sexual Dysfunctions

Benefits and Limitations of Medications for Treatment of Sexual Dysfunctions

Updated 2/22/22

There is a lot of controversy in how sexual dysfunctions are treated. There are a whole list of supplements and medications that can be used to treat these issues. But how effective they?

Symptoms and Root Causes

The treatment of sexual problems is deeply rooted in medicine. Early founders of sex therapy were medical doctors and there are many medical doctors who continue to offer sex therapy today. Similar to other medical issues, the focus is often heavily oriented towards treating symptoms. Depending on the sexual issue, there are some effective medications. For example, PDE5 inhibitors are quite effective and treating the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. In fact, those are usually the most effective treatments for any sexual dysfunction. It’s important to note that as effective as these medications are, they aren’t full proof.

There are few medications that have proven successful in treating premature or early ejaculation. Some have tried SSRI’s which are actually used to treat depression and anxiety with some success. However, results can be mixed from this.

For low sexual desire, some will use hormone therapies. However this is controversial and needs to have a skilled doctor in place to be effective. Some implicate hormones and actually can make hormonal issues worse if they aren’t careful.

For low sexual desire in women, there is actually a medication on the market that is controversial primarily because of how mixed its results have been. Many claimed it wasn’t shown to be effective enough to be a medication to even offer.

Medications and therapies for vaginismus can be quite effective. However, this is often a diagnosis that is mixed up with other conditions such as PID, infections, and vulvodynia. If the right condition is identified, then effective treatment can be offered.

Under every sexual health issue is a root cause. Sometimes the causes are physiological in nature. However, trauma, relationship issues, beliefs about yourself, sex education history, and emotional issues all contribute to sexual concerns. Learning about your root cause is vital to identifying the best course of treatment for your problem.

Building a Strong Treatment Plan with a Strong Team

You’ll want to match up your treatment with a team who is going to treat your underlying conditions. Look for physicians who do in-depth to rule out issues such as infections, hormonal imbalances, heart issues, and medication contraindications.

It can be helpful to work with a dietitian. Blood sugar and insulin can impact sexual functioning.

You may want a psychiatrist to review medications that you’re currently on and identify if treating anxiety and depression may help.

Finally, you may want to talk to a sex therapist who will help you identify your root causes and give you strategies to work on them accordingly.

Medications can be beneficial, but they usually need to be part of a bigger and broader treatment plan. Talk with your medical or mental health provider about your options if you’re dealing with these sexual issues.

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